Search Results

Author: Thompson, Owen
Resulting in 9 citations.
1. Kroeger, Sarah
Thompson, Owen
Educational Mobility across Three Generations of American Women
Economics of Education Review 53 (August 2016): 72-86.
Also: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775716302552
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult, NLSY97
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Educational Attainment; Educational Outcomes; Grandchildren; Grandparents; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Mobility

We analyze the intergenerational transmission of education in a three-generation sample of women from the 20th century US. We find strong three-generation educational persistence, with the association between the education of grandmothers and their granddaughters approximately two times stronger than would be expected under the type of first-order autoregressive transmission structure that has been assumed in much of the existing two-generation mobility literature. These findings are robust to using alternative empirical specifications and sample constructions, and are successfully replicated in a second independently drawn data set. Analyses that include males in the youngest and oldest generations produce very similar estimates. A variety of potential mechanisms linking the educational outcomes of grandparents and grandchildren are discussed and where possible tested empirically.
Bibliography Citation
Kroeger, Sarah and Owen Thompson. "Educational Mobility across Three Generations of American Women." Economics of Education Review 53 (August 2016): 72-86.
2. Thompson, Owen
Drug Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States
Contemporary Economic Policy 34,1 (January 2016): 127-145.
Also: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/coep.12109/abstract
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Western Economic Association International
Keyword(s): Arrests; Criminal Justice System; Drug Use; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Legislation; Mobility, Economic; Racial Differences

A conviction for drug possession blocks some of the most common pathways through which individuals from low income families achieve upward economic mobility in the United States, such as access to higher education, entry-level employment, and military service. These considerations are of growing importance because the number of drug-related arrests have nearly quadrupled since 1980. This article estimates the effect of a conviction for drug possession on earnings mobility using a sample of individuals born between 1980 and 1984, some of the first cohorts to come of age in the context of intensive U.S. drug criminalization and enforcement. To distinguish the effect of a drug conviction from the effect of drug use or general criminality, I compare mobility among individuals with drug convictions to control groups who self-report significant drug use and who have had interactions with the criminal justice system that did not lead to a drug conviction. I find that relative to these groups, a drug conviction reduces the probability of transitioning upward from various points in the lower half of the income distribution by 10-15 percentage points, or as much as 50%, and that these effects are substantially stronger for non-whites than for whites. These findings suggest that a policy of decriminalizing nonviolent drug possession would substantially increase intergenerational mobility among low income populations, and this effect should be weighed alongside more conventional costs and benefits in formulating optimal drug policy.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "Drug Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States." Contemporary Economic Policy 34,1 (January 2016): 127-145.
3. Thompson, Owen
Essays on Human Capital Formation
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2013
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Cognitive Ability; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Home Environment; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Human Capital; Parenting Skills/Styles; Racial Differences

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This dissertation explores various aspects of human capital formation during childhood and their economic effects throughout the lifecourse. Chapter 1 investigates how the association between cognitive achievement and self-rated health in middle age differs by race, and attempts to explain these differences. Using data from the NLSY, I find that while whites with higher cognitive achievement scores tend to report substantially better general health, this relationship is far weaker or wholly absent among blacks. Further tests suggest that about 35% of this racial difference can be explained by behavioral decisions during adulthood, and that another portion of the disparity may trace back to prenatal and early childhood experiences. The chapter closes by noting that its results are broadly consistent with explanations of the racial health gap that emphasize entrenched forms of racial discrimination. Chapter 3 investigates the role of discrimination, broadly defined, in generating racial differences in home environments. To do so, I study the trends of a widely used index of the home environment (the HOME score) in a sample of mothers who were born between 1957 and 1964, and who therefore grew up in a period of rapidly declining racial discrimination in the US South. The chapter documents that HOME scores increased dramatically across these birth cohorts among Southern African American mothers, but did not increase at all among African Americans outside of the South or among Southern whites. I propose that convergence may have been due to shifts in parenting norms that were engendered by the fundamental social and economic changes occurring in the South over this period.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. Essays on Human Capital Formation. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2013.
4. Thompson, Owen
Head Start's Long-Run Impact: Evidence from the Program's Introduction
Journal of Human Resources 30,5 (2019): 748-764.
Also: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0887403417721605
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Keyword(s): Earnings; Educational Attainment; Geocoded Data; Head Start; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Labor Market Outcomes

This paper estimates the effect of Head Start on health, education, and labor market outcomes observed through age 48. I combine outcome data from the NLSY79 with archival records on early Head Start funding levels, and for identification exploit differences across counties in the introduction timing and size of local Head Start programs. This allows me to compare the long-term outcomes of children who were too old for Head Start when the program was introduced in their county with the outcomes of children who were sufficiently young to be eligible. I find that individuals from counties that had an average sized program when they were in Head Start's target age range experienced a $2,199 increase in annual adult earnings, completed .125 additional years of education, were 4.6 percentage points less likely to have a health limitation at age 40, and overall experienced a .081 standard deviation improvement in a summary index of these and other outcome measures. Funding levels at ages outside of Head Start's target range are not significantly correlated with long-term outcomes. Estimated treatment effects are largest among blacks, the children of lower-education parents, and children exposed to better funded Head Start programs, heterogeneity that is consistent with a causal program impact. © 2017 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "Head Start's Long-Run Impact: Evidence from the Program's Introduction." Journal of Human Resources 30,5 (2019): 748-764.
5. Thompson, Owen
Racial Disparities in the Cognition-Health Relationship
Journal of Health Economics 30,2 (March 2011): 328-339.
Also: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629611000142
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use; Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Birthweight; Body Mass Index (BMI); Cognitive Ability; Health Factors; Obesity; Racial Differences; Self-Perception; Smoking (see Cigarette Use)

This paper investigates how the association between cognitive achievement and self-rated health in middle age differs by race, and attempts to explain these differences. The role of cognition in health determination has received only limited empirical attention, and even less is known about how race may affect this relationship. Using data from the NLSY, I find that while Whites with higher cognitive achievement scores tend to report substantially better general health, this relationship is far weaker or wholly absent among Blacks. Further tests suggest that about 35% of this racial difference can be explained by behavioral decisions during adulthood, and that another portion of the disparity may trace back to prenatal and early childhood experiences. The paper closes by noting that its results are broadly consistent with explanations of the racial health gap that emphasize entrenched forms of racial discrimination.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "Racial Disparities in the Cognition-Health Relationship." Journal of Health Economics 30,2 (March 2011): 328-339.
6. Thompson, Owen
The Determinants of Racial Differences in Parenting Practices
Journal of Political Economy 126,1 (February 2018): 438-449.
Also: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/694205
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Keyword(s): Geocoded Data; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Parenting Skills/Styles; Racial Differences; State-Level Data/Policy

Blacks and whites in the United States adopt widely different parental behaviors, but the underlying causes of these differences are not well understood. This paper documents large scale increases in cognitively stimulating parenting among Southern black mothers who came of age in the period immediately following the Civil Rights Movement. The total magnitude of these improvements was approximately .5 standard deviations between the 1957 and 1964 birth cohorts, while no significant trends occurred among blacks outside of the South or among whites from any region.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "The Determinants of Racial Differences in Parenting Practices." Journal of Political Economy 126,1 (February 2018): 438-449.
7. Thompson, Owen
The Effect of Income on Health: Evidence from New Health Measures in the NLSY
Working Paper, Social Science Research Network, January 2012.
Also: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1987728
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.
Keyword(s): Health Factors; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Income; Modeling, Fixed Effects; Obesity

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

While it is well known that income and health are positively associated, the critical question of whether this relationship is causal remains open. Income may cause better health, but causality could also run from health to income, or both income and health could be correlated with one or more unobserved variables. This paper attempts to overcome these problems by systematically exploiting features of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which recently added several important health measures. To account for reverse-causality, I reason that health effects income mainly by limiting labor force activities, and focus on a subpopulation that has never reported a health related work limitation. To account for omitted variables, I estimate sibling fixed-effects models to control for childhood conditions and genetic background, and include direct controls for discount rates, risk aversion and cognitive ability. I find that income has a significant causal effect on physical health and obesity, but not on mental health, smoking or heavy drinking. My preferred models predict that an individual with a permanent income of $70,000 is approximately 10% less likely to be obese than if they had a permanent income of $30,000, and reports physical health that is .25 standard deviations more favorable.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "The Effect of Income on Health: Evidence from New Health Measures in the NLSY." Working Paper, Social Science Research Network, January 2012.
8. Thompson, Owen
The Intergenerational Transmission of Health Status: Estimates and Mechanisms
Working Paper, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, August 2012
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts
Keyword(s): Armed Forces Qualifications Test (AFQT); Asthma; Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Health Care; Household Income; Insurance, Health; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth); Obesity; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Pre-natal Care/Exposure

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper investigates the extent to which health status is correlated across generations, and the mechanisms through which health transmission occurs. Using three large US data sets, the paper first documents strong intergenerational associations in self-rated health, health limitations, obesity, asthma, hay fever, headaches and diabetes. Children with a parent who reports having one of these conditions are at least 50%-100% more likely to report the condition themselves, and these effects differ by parental gender and child age. I then systematically investigate the mechanisms underlying these associations. To assess the importance of genetic mechanisms, I estimate health correlations between different types of twins and siblings, and estimate the strength of health transmission for samples of adopted versus biological children. To assess the importance of environmental transmission mechanisms, I utilize detailed controls for socioeconomic status, health care access and utilization, health behaviors, cognitive test scores, and prenatal and early childhood conditions, and also estimate fixed-effects models at the census block-group and school levels. The core finding of these exercises is that intergenerational health associations are remarkably robust. Even when models with extensive controls are estimated using a sample of adopted children, qualitatively large intergenerational health associations are present.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Health Status: Estimates and Mechanisms." Working Paper, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, August 2012.
9. Thompson, Owen
The Long-Term Health Impacts of Medicaid and CHIP
Journal of Health Economics 51 (January 2017): 26-40.
Also: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629616305136
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Asthma; Children, Health Care; Family Income; Geocoded Data; Health, Chronic Conditions; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Medicaid/Medicare; Program Participation/Evaluation; State-Level Data/Policy

This paper estimates the effect of US public health insurance programs for children on health. Previous work in this area has typically focused on the relationship between current program eligibility and current health. But because health is a stock variable which reflects the cumulative influence of health inputs, it would be preferable to estimate the impact of total program eligibility during childhood on longer-term health outcomes. I provide such estimates by using longitudinal data to construct Medicaid and CHIP eligibility measures that are observed from birth through age 18 and estimating the effect of cumulative program exposure on a variety of health outcomes observed in early adulthood. To account for the endogeneity of program eligibility, I exploit variation in Medicaid and CHIP generosity across states and over time for children of different ages. I find that an additional year of public health insurance eligibility during childhood improves a summary index of adult health by.079 standard deviations, and substantially reduces health limitations, chronic conditions and asthma prevalence while improving self-rated health.
Bibliography Citation
Thompson, Owen. "The Long-Term Health Impacts of Medicaid and CHIP." Journal of Health Economics 51 (January 2017): 26-40.